There was once a man who, one night between the main course and the sweet at a dinner party, went upstairs and locked himself in one of the bedrooms of the house of the people who were giving the dinner party.
Miles Garth goes to a dinner party in an upper middle class neighborhood in Greenwich. Somewhere between the main course and dessert he goes upstairs to a guest bedroom and locks himself in. Over the course of the next days and weeks he develops a cult following as people seek to solve the mystery of the guest who over-stayed his welcome. The story is told in four parts, first by the woman whose phone number is found in the cell phone Miles left downstairs, then by the man who’d accompanied him to the dinner party, thirdly by an elderly woman he visits each year on the anniversary of her daughter’s death and last by the girl who came to the dinner party with her parents. Each has had a small but significant relationship with Miles and their experiences shed some light on what might have happened. But whether or not the reader fully comes to understand the circumstances of Miles’s confinement, there is much to understand about the way the world works through this story. It is a smart commentary on race, class, and the incomplete relationships we form with one another. Added to this, Smith is clearly a word-lover and her language was a pleasure to read. Whether it was the precocious puns of an 11-year-old girl or the rhymes of the voice in a grown man’s head, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Check the BPL catalog for this title: There but for the